ACW #625 – Secret Six

Action Comics Weekly #625 (Secret Six)
“For Whom the Toll Builds”
Writer – Martin Pasko
Pencils – Frank Springer
Inks – Frank McLaughlin
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Carl Gafford
Editor – Robert Greenberger

It’s Secret Six day… and we’re coming off a particularly strong installment last week.  So strong, in fact, that for the first time in twenty-four weeks, I actually voted for it in our weekly poll!

I’m hoping we’ll be able to bask in the afterglow a bit this week… though, it doesn’t seem likely.  I think we’ll be fine, just so long as the first thing we see here isn’t that Hunter S. Thompson-looking guy…

Well, Hell… we open with that Hunter S. Thompson-looking guy, and Director Whatshisface.  They’re strolling through a top-secret facility in Washington, D.C. discussing recent events.  They conclude (for like the eleventieth-time) that the Secret Six must be back in operation.  I mean, do these guys have short-term memory-loss?!  It feels like every time we see them, they make the same “discovery”!  C’mon, already!  Anyhoo, as these goofs have the same conversation they’ve had for the past several weeks, we shift scenes to Tony.  He’s calling in to H.Q. looking for Mitch… which tells us, he’s looking for a Hollywood-level disguise.  Ol’ man Gus informs him that Mitch is in Los Angeles… which is pretty convenient, seeing as though Tony is too!

We pop back to D.C., to see that the baddies are disassembling both Tony and LaDonna’s Signal-Watches to see what makes them tick (har!)… then, back to the Sixers, who are in the middle of interrogating Steve from Jefferson University.  As this is happening, Gus is able to get a bead on those stolen Signal-Watches… which, while initially exciting… also means that it’s pretty likely that the “Agency” has the ability to track their’s as well!

Back on the VTOL, Steve tells more of his story… including the involvement of original Sixer, August Durant on the creation of the V74 virus.  Ya see, he was infected with a strain of whatever disease V74 causes, and so, the students at the University were collecting tissue samples from him with the understanding that their work would go toward the creation of a vaccine.  Turns out… they were all unwittingly creating a sort of weaponizable (that’s not a word) super-virus!

Just then, the landed VTOL is surrounded by Agency Choppers… and a firefight is about to begin.  First, however, Luke boards Steve into a van and drives off into the woods.  The Sixers take to the skies… and ready for battle.

Then… well, you all wanted to know why Mitch was in L.A., right?  No?  Well, we’re going there anyway.  Turns out he just sold off his share of a special effects company.  He’s at his farewell party.

He excuses himself to an office, where he is joined by… Tony!  He needs a disguise (duh), and so, he’s swept into the lab for make-up.

We close out back in those woods, where Luke has crashed the van.  Steve lay motionless on the ground, and isn’t lookin’ great.  They are soon surrounded by Agency goons… and Luke surrenders to the butt-end of a rifle.  Wow, that’s two days in a row we’re ending with a butt-shot!

While certainly a step back from last week’s shockingly strong chapter, this wasn’t quite “back to business as usual” for the Secret Six.  I gotta say, I’m really enjoying the characters here… that is, the Sixers.  I really dig the way they’re being handled… and all of their interactions feel natural.

I still couldn’t care less about the “Agency” though.  Maybe I’m just burnt out on this sort of thing… I mean, this is a well comics go to quite often… then and now.  It’s tiring.  Look at it this way… tomorrow, we’re going to talk about the Superman strip… which also features an “agency”.  It’s just too much.

I despise starting sentences with any variation of “Is it just me…”, but, is it just me… or have the Agency come to the conclusion that Mockingbird and the Secret Six are back in like six out of the last seven chapters?!  This isn’t new information, fellas… just get on with it already!!!  Yer killin’ me ova hea’!

As for the reveal that the students at Jefferson University were unwitting pawns in the attempted creation of a bio-weapon?  That’s some good stuff.  I wasn’t sure how they were going to exonerate Steve, but I was sure they were going to!  This is as good a way as any… and might lead somewhere interesting.

Interesting enough to fill another five chapters?  Well, that remains to be seen… but, if I were to make a guess?  No.  It’s probably not.  We’re getting those five chapters regardless… so, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed!  I can only hope that Fenedy and Hunter Thompson don’t “discover” that the Secret Six are back… five more times.

Tomorrow: You will believe a man can… rent a car.

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